Geochemical and climatic effects of increased marine organic carbon burial at the Cenomanian/Turonian boundary

Michael Allan Arthur, Walter E. Dean, Lisa M. Pratt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

434 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Perhaps the most significant event in the Cretaceous record of the carbon isotope composition of carbonate1,2, other than the 1-2.5‰ negative shift in the carbon isotope composition of calcareous plankton at the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary3, is the rapid global positive excursion of ∼2‰ (13C enrichment) which took place between ∼91.5 Myr and 90.3 Myr (late Cenomanian to earliest Turonian (C/T boundary event))1,4,5. This excursion has been attributed to a change in the isotope composition of the marine total dissolved carbon (TDC) reservoir resulting from an increase in rate of burial of 13C-depleted organic carbon, which coincided with a major global rise in sea level5 during the so-called C/T oceanic anoxic event (OAE)6. Here we present new data, from nine localities, which demonstrate that a positive excursion in the carbon isotope composition of organic carbon at or near the C/T boundary7,8 is nearly synchronous with that for carbonate and is widespread throughout the Tethys and Atlantic basins (Fig. 1), as well as in more high-latitude epicontinental seas. The postulated increase in the rate of burial of organic carbon may have had a significant effect on CO2 and O2 concentrations in the oceans and atmosphere, and consequent effects on global climate and sedimentary facies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)714-717
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume335
Issue number6192
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

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Cenomanian-Turonian boundary
carbon isotope
organic carbon
Cretaceous
inland sea
Turonian
Tethys
global climate
plankton
isotope
carbonate
atmosphere
carbon
ocean
basin
climatic effect
rate
effect

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Cite this

Arthur, Michael Allan ; Dean, Walter E. ; Pratt, Lisa M. / Geochemical and climatic effects of increased marine organic carbon burial at the Cenomanian/Turonian boundary. In: Nature. 1988 ; Vol. 335, No. 6192. pp. 714-717.
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Geochemical and climatic effects of increased marine organic carbon burial at the Cenomanian/Turonian boundary. / Arthur, Michael Allan; Dean, Walter E.; Pratt, Lisa M.

In: Nature, Vol. 335, No. 6192, 01.01.1988, p. 714-717.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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